War Machine, the fighter formerly known as Jon Koppenhaver, has once again joined the Bellator Fighting Championships ranks after being originally released by the promotion following disparaging political comments two years ago.
The "TUF" product is coming off of an impressive stoppage of fellow UFC veteran Roger Huerta in a return bout last month, the first time War Machine fought since before being incarcerated for over a year.
“Jon’s not had an easy road,” Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney said in a press release to the media. “And there’s no doubt he’s made some poor choices, but after having had conversations with him since his release, he really seems to understand where and why things went wrong and wants to make them right. And, when he’s focused on nothing but training and fighting, he’s a talented and exciting fighter. I hope he’s able to turn this second chance into something positive.”
War Machine is expected to be in the field during Bellator's next upcoming welterweight tournament this Spring. Since his exit from the UFC, War Machine has won seven of his nine bouts, which include wins over standout wrestler Zach Light and Canadian journeyman Guillaume DeLorenzi.
“It’s like I hit the rewind button,” War Machine said. “I pressed rewind and now I have a chance to get my life back on track. It feels great. Not everyone gets this kind of opportunity. I’m just stoked to be back in the mix here with Bellator. I didn’t get released from Bellator because I sucked. I got released because I was making poor decisions in my life. Right now I’m just out to show the world that I do belong here fighting the best with Bellator.
“I feel like I belong fighting with the best fighters in the world and Bellator has a bunch of them. I’m ready to fight the best guys again, and now I have that chance. I’m excited for the chance to prove myself and make up for a lot of the stupid stuff I’ve said and done in the past. I love my family and my teammates and I want to make them all proud of me. I want to show them what I’m truly capable of. I know there are a lot of kids and people I care about there watching me so I need to be a lot more careful about some of the choices I make. I just want to make everyone proud of me.”
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